During Tuesday night’s townhall meeting, Student Government Association President Virgil Miller said an interim director for the Office of Student Union and Activities should be named, but that position is yet to be filled.
The meeting, held in the SGA Senate Chambers, was filled to capacity as Miller opened by informing students of events related to the SGA’s spring elections.
Those events were centered around two people: Director of the Office of Student Union and Activities (OSUA) Alice Mathis, and SGA office assistant Benita Lamb.
Mathis, who has served as the director for the OSUA for more than a year, provided direction and oversight for many events on campus.
Lamb served as office assistant for SGA, and was responsible for handling paperwork relating to allocation of funds for campus clubs and organizations.
“On (March 4), the director of student activities received a notice of non-renewal of contract. On (March 10) of spring break, she received a notice of suspension. On (March 11) of spring break, the office assistant here at SGA received a notice of suspension until further notice to both of those individuals,” Miller explained.
Many who attended the meeting assumed it would center on the elections. But since reports are still forthcoming, there wasn’t much that Vice President of Student Affairs Patricia Green-Powell or Vice President of Student Affairs Henry Kirby could comment on.
According to Miller, the elections are not under investigation. They are, however, under review.
Green-Powell said the election reports ordered by Interim President Bryant will be ready this Friday.
Lately, there have been rumors that former SGA presidential hopeful Torey Alston disputed the election results. But according to Alston, that rumor is not true.
“I haven’t appealed any election, that’s totally coming from the Electoral Commission,” said Alston, a 20-year-old business administration student from Fort Lauderdale.
“I’ve already said congratulations to both Philip (Agnew) and Ramon (Alexander).”
After both Lamb and Mathis were suspended, Miller, along with SGA Vice President Keneishia Grant, Miss FAMU Brooke Smith, Senate President Ramon Alexander and Senate President Pro Tempore Jessica LarchÃ© met with Bryant and handed her a list of expectations from student government officers.
That list contained issues ranging from staffing concerns to the handling of future student issues.
“Many of the staffing issues that we have will be addressed in the future, and that is per the conversation that we had with the university president,” Miller said.
During the meeting, Miller also addressed the issues relating to staffing in SGA and the OSUA and how that affected the plans that were already in the works.
During the meeting, Powell spoke about the staffing situation.
“We developed a staffing plan immediately, but we knew that we could not implement a staffing plan without the support of our president,” Powell said.
According to Kirby, the suspension of both Lamb and Mathis was done according to proper procedure.
Kirby also went on to say that both offices were left with sufficient staffing to carry on as normal. After being asked if the OSUA was crippled because of the absence of a permanent director, Kirby replied by saying, ” It’s definitely not crippled.”
Miller, however, had a different viewpoint.
“SGA was crippled, The OSUA was crippled,” Miller said. “I still have not been officially notified that our office assistant was not with us.”
Grant said it was the lack of notification that was blatantly disrespectful to her.
“My concern is about the lack of notification and respect that was given to us by the administration.”
Grant also went on to dispute the claim that there was someone ready to immediately step in and take Mathis and Lamb’s place.
“SGA was shut down for nine days and no one contacted us in any way, shape, form or fashion,” Grant said.
Several students had different opinions of the effectiveness of the meeting.
“I think that this town hall meeting was a leeway to address the issues of FAMU students,” said Shashee Moore, a print journalism student from West Palm Beach.
“I don’t think it necessarily solved anything,” Moore said.
Reginald Todd, a 20-year-old math education student from Pensacola said the administration acted in the best interest of the students and he trusts their decision.
“I trust the administration completely,” Todd said. “Who are we to tell the administration what needs to be done?”
Contact Sidney Wright IV at firstname.lastname@example.org